Expatriate Staff Need Occasional Pat on the Back
International companies are losing millions of pounds each year through the poor management of their expatriate staff, reveals a survey by accountants Arthur Andersen.
Many expatriates end up feeling abandoned and undervalued, and ultimately choose to leave their company after they return home, it says.
The firm believes the substantial investment in these highly-skilled people is not being fully utilised, a situation that could be resolved by companies taking a more proactive approach to the management of overseas assignments.
The survey, Maximising the Return on Investment from International Assignments, indicates that many expatriates see an overseas posting as helping more with their long-term career outside the organisation than with their progress within the company.
The employer's poor management of careers actively undermines workers' relationship with the business.
A number of factors contribute to this situation:
The person sent overseas is often the only one to have been put forward for the assignment - they may not have been the right person for the job in the first place.
Forty per cent of companies do not agree any objectives with the employee before an assignment begins.
Twenty-three per cent of companies do not maintain any formal communication with their expatriate staff. …